Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Alejandro - Finally Something Madonna Actually Did Do First

Love her or loathe her, there's no denying that Lady Gaga is the current Queen of music videos. She claimed the throne with "Paparazzi" and has since gone from strength to strength. "Bad Romance" triumphantly mixed a seedy Europorn aesthetic with high fashion glamour to bring sex trafficking to the masses, while "Telephone" took things to the next level with its instantly iconic narrative, scene stealing cameo from the world's biggest superstar and long list of quirky 70s influences. And I expected more of that magic from today's premiere of "Alejandro". The preview looked quintessentially Gaga and I've been in love with the song from the first time I played "The Fame Monster" - so it's difficult to explain my intense disappointment at the finished product.

Lady Gaga has always been a master at blending her influences, lifting a Debbie Harry look here and a Grace Jones outfit there. It's never bothered me because she has an uncanny ability to take other people's ideas and make them her own. The same can not be said, however, for "Alejandro". Anyone old enough to actually remember the 80s will experience an alarming sense of deja vu when they sit down to watch this derivative montage of Madonna videos and tour moments. It amuses me that many of the same people that roasted Christina Aguilera's "Not Myself Tonight" video are calling Gaga's effort "a work of art". Bitch, please. This makes Xtina's cheerful homage look positively original by comparison. There's no denying the quality of the Steven Klein's direction, the brilliant cinematography or ingenious hair and make-up but we've seen it all before. As much as I hate to say it - Madonna really did do it first!

The men in high heels - tick
Ripping off Leni Reifenstahl's Nazi/Aryan aesthetic - tick
The Evita-tastic funeral procession - tick
A factory/industrial setting ("Express Yourself" anyone?) - tick
Male dancers homoerotically fighting/dancing (Girlie Show) - tick
The choreography on the bed (see "Bye Bye Baby") - tick
Religious imagery - tick
A dance routine straight from "Vogue" - tick
A pointy brassiere - tick
Bondage gear a la "Erotica" - tick
Faux rape (see "Like A Prayer") - tick

More disappointing still is the fact that Lady Gaga is starting to repeat herself. How long is she going to stick with the whole one ugly look followed by a glamorous look routine and is anyone else sick of seeing her dance in her underpants? Girl, invest in some feathers and sequins! The fame monster is in danger of becoming a caricature of herself. I just wish she would stop trying to be so damn self-important and serious. "Alejandro" is a joyous pop song. As MIA bitchily (but correctly) pointed out, it "sounds like Ibiza music". So why try to turn it into a funeral march for a demented nun into group sex and bad hairstyles? She just needs to embrace the fact that she makes throwaway fluff better than just about anyone and make a video starring Ace of Base as a thank you for borrowing their sound. The only good thing to come out of these eight and a half minutes of pointlessness is a new appreciation for Kylie's "All The Lovers" video. In comparison, that sweet little clip is positively revolutionary.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's taken me four viewing to truly stomach it all, and I honestly love it. It gives the song a completely new meaning. I predicted the video would be beach, sun and romance. And instead we get the exact opposite - something dark, confronting and very moody. I think it's very intriguing, and everything Gaga should be about.

It a couple minutes too long though.

- Petro

tommie said...

Finally you're catching up on what I've been saying all along - she's FAR too pretentious to be making the music she's making.

Bruce said...

My problem with Gaga has been that she has so much imagery but so little point. That's the difference between her an Madonna in her heyday. There's not much meaning behind the stunning visuals.

Can the Lady G please take a little break after this one?

rcLoy said...

"The only good thing to come out of these eight and a half minutes of pointlessness is a new appreciation for Kylie's "All The Lovers" video." I couldn't agree more. I need Aphrodite pronto!

Justin said...

Mike you know I'm not a Gaga fan at all and I couldn't agree with you more. I just can't stand how pretentious she is. She makes pop music that has little to no meaning like every other pop whore out there. I'm just tired of her trying to pass off everything she does as something revolutionary and serious. This video sufferes from bloated ideas that have already been done before. I'm glad you called out those same cunts who bashed Xtina for "paying homage" but yet are hailing this as a work of art just because Steven Klein's overrated ass is attached to it. He had to explain what the video was about which was just a bunch of pretentious hogwash diarreah.

Now excuse me while I go listen to the Aphrodite megamix.

tommie said...

I just watched it - wow. Hagtrogga should sue! How uninspired by Lady DelusionalDouche... yet again she shows that she has no original or artistic bone in her body!

It also made me realise how much I appreciate Ke$ha and her attitude towards her own music.

Jump! said...

I actually liked the video but stunned by the runnng time of nearly 8+ minutes. There was no "message" or "story" strong enough to fill this long video. Editing is as important as what you put in the video and they could have cut about 4-5 minutes out and still got the "message" across.

I didn't think the guys were hot either- thats the biggest crime.

bomitoni said...

What Tommie said.

Robpop said...

I kinda love it.

& I've been very reluctant when it comes GaGa. All my friends think I'm made. Or perhaps one day Stepfanny Germanotta ruined my fav shirt something. Literally they dont get it. Why doesnt Bobby love GaGa?

But this video
This song
Is perhaps the best thing (for me) GaGa has ever done.

There are too many reasons why I love it. There are too many ways i feel i can defend it. And also I agree with all the comments already said above. That WOULD be me. I actually agree with all that is said.

But this has won me over. I actually get it. I get the GaGa. Finally.

Mike said...

Listen, I'm not hating on Gaga. I love her music and went to see her 3 times in concert. And I usually find her pretentiousness endearing. "Bad Romance" is dark and epic - and the video suited it. "Telephone" is trashy fun, which was reflected by the girls gone bad clip.

However this is just a pointless exercise in recycling everything Madonna did when she was still a creative force back in the 80s. Alejandro is not a dark and sinister song. I would have loved a cute sun & sand video - it's about the only thing Gaga could do to shock me.

Maybe it is time for a rest. Her act is starting to get a bit tired now.

Sexbox said...

I won't deny the Madonna......um, influence? lol BUT, I think most of the people complaining about Lady Gaga being pretentious and taking herself too seriously are the ones that are missing the point. Lady Gaga is making incredibly catchy pop music. We all know that catchy pop music isn't enough to make it in the industry anymore, so she makes a smart business move with all of the imagery and quirkiness of her videos and live appearances. Lady Gaga would just be another blonde female pop singer if she didn't try hard to separate herself from the masses. HOWEVER, I will agree that unlike Madonna, there isn't much of a message behind the imagery. If that is good or bad depends on whether or not you care if there is a message or not. Bottom line in my opinion is that when I fork out $15 for a CD I want good music. Lady Gaga provides that. End of story.

tommie said...

Mike, this is exactly what Lady DelusionalDouche has been doing all along. The longer into her career she gets, the more obvious it'll get and people will start to catch on. The worst thing to happen to her was probably the fact that her budget was significantly upped after Just Prance and Joker Face was hits.

Paul said...

i think the song is sort of tops - one of my fave g'gah numbers to date. i'm not a fan of the video at all, but i've only really ever liked Bad Romance visually...

Me said...

Even some of her most retarded MONGsters admit it is a pile of complete and utter SHITE and a pathetic attempt at being "shocking" for the sake of it - even more pathetic because it FAILS.

the poopoo did it all before and much better while wearing a (rather conservative) sexy negligee as a busty brunette 20 years ago.

Ryan said...

Lady Gaga already did her cute video with "Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)". I like the contrast between the song and the video of "Alejandro", personally. It's one of my least favorite Gaga videos but it's not bad -- I love the elegance of it, especially at the beginning. However, I found the video decidedly lacking in substance compared to her other videos like Bad Romance and Telephone, and it loses me near the end during the crappy montage. It's amateurish and doesn't fit in with the rest of the video.

Hairdresser Port Melbourne said...

Lady gaga is a good singer and nice voice.